‘Simpsons’ Fans Have Turned Kirk Van Houten’s ‘Can I Borrow a Feeling?’ Into a Real Banger

Not every artist can nail the lyrics ‘Take my hand with your glove of love’
‘Simpsons’ Fans Have Turned Kirk Van Houten’s ‘Can I Borrow a Feeling?’ Into a Real Banger

Since the internet is so obviously lacking in pointless lists, Apple recently announced their ranking of the Top 100 albums of all-time — and there were some pretty major snubs. Mariah Carey didn’t appear on the list, nor did country legend Dolly Parton. And don’t let any Simpsons memes fool you, Kirk Van Houten was completely shut out.

“Can I Borrow a Feeling?” is, of course, the name of Milhouse’s dad’s “demo tape,” which was cruelly cast aside by his “special lady” Starla in “A Milhouse Divided.” The song itself is pretty terrible, as we find out by the end of the episode. Not only does Kirk not impress his ex Luann with his impromptu romantic ballad, the poor guy doesn’t even get his shirts back before he’s escorted out by Pyro from American Gladiators.

While it may work well as an anthem for divorced middle aged male ennui, “Can I Borrow a Feeling?” is a pretty lame song. But that hasn’t deterred some impassioned Simpsons fans from working hard to change that perception, by producing new versions of Van Houten’s track that arguably slap. Like the Birch Trip remix that turns it into an ‘80s-style “banger.”

Or how about when Round Springfield podcast co-host Allie Goertz performed an earnest, acoustic cover of “Can I Borrow a Feeling?” in 2015, impressively without a single member of the Doobie Brothers backing her up.

Meanwhile, Canadian Simpsons-themed rock band The Be Sharps also covered the song — presumably because you can only play the “Monorail” song and the Planet of the Apes musical numbers so many times.

Even some bands that haven’t shaped their entire identity around The Simpsons have covered the song, such as Australia’s Hivemind. As heard on YouTube, the group played “Can I Borrow a Feeling?” live, introducing the “special” tune by noting that it was written by a “great man” who also happens to be a “big wheel down at the cracker factory.” 

And for a slightly different vibe, there’s a “LoFi House” remix by Lovelydaze. 

While Kirk’s song may have been a totally original composition for the show (music written by Alf Clausen with lyrics by Steve Tompkins) as the writers revealed on the DVD commentary for the episode, the title was inspired by a “recording hopeful” named Cody Matherson, whose record, “Can I Borrow a Feeling?” was included in a book of the “worst album covers ever” (although there seems to be some debate online about whether or not it’s actually real). 

Given all of these covers, Kirk Van Houten may just have the most impressive musical career of any artist who sleeps alone in a race car bed. 

You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter (if it still exists by the time you’re reading this).


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